Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is eagerly looking forward to the swift conclusion of an air services agreement with China.

Mr. Stuart made his feelings known recently when Barbados??? Ambassador -Designate to the People???s Republic of China, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, paid him a courtesy call at Government Headquarters.

Saying that Barbados was in the development phase of its relationship with China, the Prime Minister said it was now necessary to familiarise the Chinese with this country in an effort to attract Chinese tourists and business people to these shores.

Acknowledging that the Barbados economy had become structurally integrated into the economies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Canada, he insisted that there was a need to look in new directions and identified China and Latin America as two of the new paths to be followed.

Dr. Brathwaite noted that tourism, trade and business were key areas for this country and promised that the Embassy would champion them. He pointed out that 83 million Chinese tourists were travelling the world annually and spending $102 billion, and therefore it was vital to redirect some of them here.

He told the Prime Minister that he had spent the last month meeting with officials of the public and private sectors gathering information on how the relationship with China could be deepened.

The Prime Minister told Dr. Brathwaite that he was aware of the high value that China attaches to its relationship with Barbados and said he was impressed with the envoy???s vision to strengthen that relationship.

Dr. Brathwaite left Barbados on Sunday for his new assignment.

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